Saturday, June 9, 2012

Big is Bad

This blogger doesn't mind telling a story against himself. A couple of decades ago, he made his first trip to the US of A. Two experiences stand out in the trip. The first was his  seatmate on the flight. The gentleman was, to put it mildly, a mountain of lard. Having encountered many Rajalakshmis - she of the ample proportions -  this blogger thought he had seen it all. But "he ain't seen nothing yet". The specimen he was now witnessing would put all Rajalakshmis combined into the svelte and petite category . The worthy had boarded the flight first as "a passenger requiring assistance" and occupied the two seater we were to share. When I boarded, I discovered that both the seats had been "taken" (this was before the era which now requires man mountains to buy two tickets). I managed the two hour flight by standing next to the seat !

The second stand out experience was when I ordered a cup of tea at some cafe. Small size please. I got a plastic monstrosity which held some 2 litres of boiling water. And one sad looking tea bag . I have never ever asked for hot tea  in the US ever since. This is, after all the country where the smallest size in Starbucks is called Tall

This was 20 years ago. The connection between the two has only now been grasped in the US. Or at least in New York. Mayor Bloomberg now wants to ban soda fountains serving portions bigger than 16 oz (half a litre) in his crusade against obesity.

This blog has carried consecutive posts on economics and politics. That is rather heavy. Readers are now invited to wash that down with this rather "easy" post.

New Yorkers are up in arms protesting against the encroachment of the fundamental right to consume 3.4 litres of Coke in one go. I have some fundamental questions regarding how anatomically possible this propensity of New Yorkers is. I am fairly convinced that human body systems for dealing with liquids, do not have a combined capacity of  3.4 litres. Therefore if there is ingress of the stated quantity, there must also be a steady egress ! And what happens to the enormous quantity of CO2 inherent in the soda. Is this the reason for the generation of the vast quantities of hot air that The Tea Party and Michael Moore followers do each day. Or is it that all that gas adds a certain amount of buoyancy to people who are gravitationally challenged enabling them to transition from the horizontal to the vertical ?

Bloomberg is arguing that he is not banning New Yorkers from drinking 3.4 litres of Coke in one go. He is only banning them from drinking that from one glass. They can buy 7 glasses of 16 ozs each and slurp to their heart's content. Apparently his theory is that they cannot carry seven glasses at one time; so they will consume less !!

I am applying to the good Mayor for a clarification. Are the 14 kgs of ice cubes that are shovelled into each drink to be counted in his 16 oz limit or not ??  For , you see, no self respecting New Yorker will drink a soda, unless the entire Arctic ice cap is in his glass.

I am also unclear how the good state of Texas views all this. You see, all Texans believe that New Yorkers are wimps because they serve such tiny portions of food and drink. You want to see a Big Mac, come to Texas, where about two cows have to lay down their lives in the cause of doing justice to one burger. The Texan concession to the war on obesity is that he has reluctantly agreed to settle in for an order of "1 Big Mac and a Diet Coke please" !